Meaning, Symptoms, Risk Factors & Treatment


Contributed by: Abshar Faheem


Understanding endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful disorder, wherein the uterus’s lining tissue grows outside the uterus, instead of inside. The wall or lining of the uterus is known as the endometrium. Endometrial tissue develops on the intestines, tissues that support the uterus, the outside of the uterus, or ovaries. 

It is rare for the endometrial tissue to expand beyond the pelvic region but it is also possible it can spread to anywhere in the body including the lungs, heart, and digestive tract. The body normally discharges the endometrium or the uterus lining during menstruation, As the tissue decays, scar tissue can form. Endometriosis can have a debilitating effect on a person’s quality of life. Besides pain, people with endometriosis can also feel pressures related to relationships, stress, depression, anxiety,  employment, the cost of medical care, and difficulty in social life.


Symptoms of endometriosis

The symptoms of endometriosis may vary from person to person. It can be mild, moderate, and severe. However, the severity of the pain does not indicate the disease’s stage. You might get the mild one but can experience the distressing pain. And it can also be possible to get a severe one but might experience mild discomfort. The pelvic pain can be the most common symptom of endometriosis however, there are other symptoms as well including lower back pain, trouble with bowel movements, bloating, constipation, infertility, nausea, painful sexual intercourse, heavy menstrual bleeding, cramps especially around menstruation, painful menstruation, and pain in the lower abdomen. It is also possible that you do not get any symptoms at all.  


Risk factors and other underlying conditions


It is essential to get routine gynecological exams which can enable your gynecologist to watch changes if any. And it is very important if you experience one or more symptoms of endometriosis. Experts are not sure about the exact cause of endometriosis but they believe certain risk factors may contribute to it. These risk factors might include genetics or family history, the onset of menstruation before the age of 11 years, heavy and prolonged menstruation, immune system problems, problems in menstrual flow, too much estrogen in the body, consumption of alcohol and caffeine, and a smaller menstrual cycle. The pain might go away after menopause when the body discontinues producing estrogen. But, if a person takes hormone therapy during menopause, the symptoms of endometriosis may continue.

Some health conditions can be associated with endometriosis including allergies, asthma, sensitivity to chemicals, autoimmune disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cancers such as ovarian and breast.


Diagnosis, treatment, and home remedies


It might be hard for a medical professional or healthcare provider to diagnose endometriosis because no particular test can confirm it and the symptoms can be difficult to recognize. The symptoms can also be similar to other underlying conditions. Possible diagnostic approaches may include a pelvic exam, imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI scan, laparoscopy, and a biopsy. Right now there is no cure for endometriosis because certain treatments are available that can manage the symptoms. 

They include pain relief medications, hormonal treatment, surgery, and fertility treatment. Various natural remedies can also help manage endometriosis symptoms including acupuncture, counseling, hypnosis, biofeedback, regular exercise, and herbal medicine.

Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative for women because it might have serious complications too. They may include infertility issues, trouble getting pregnant, unable to conceive a baby, managing chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.


The bottom line 

It is a chronic condition with no cure at all. The exact cause behind its occurrence is still under research. But it does not necessarily indicate that this condition will affect the quality of your life and other daily routine activities. There are treatments and home remedies available to manage the symptoms. And this condition often improves after the menopause phase.


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